December 30, 2011
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There is a view (especially in France) that the enemies of the Euro are the AS (Anglo-Saxons). In my opinion this is not so. I do not believe the AS are against the Euro but, in common with the Austrian School of Economics, they are against its inherent flaws. As Martin Feldstein points out in his article ‘The French Don’t Get It. The French government just doesn’t seem to understand the real implications of the euro. French officials apparently don’t recognize the importance of the fact that Britain is outside the eurozone, and therefore has its own currency, which means that there is no risk that Britain will default on its debt. By contrast, the French government and the French central bank cannot create euros. There is a second reason why the British situation is less risky than that of France. Britain can reduce its current-account deficit by causing the British pound to weaken relative to the dollar and the euro, which the French, again, cannot do without their own currency. The eurozone fiscal deficits and current-account deficits are now the most obvious symptoms of the euro’s failure. But the credit crisis in Europe, and the weakness of eurozone banks, may be even more important. The persistent unemployment differentials within the eurozone are yet another reflection of the adverse effect of imposing a single currency and a single monetary policy on a heterogeneous group of countries. These comments may be valid but in making the ‘French connection’, either Feldstein hasn’t been following recent European events very well, or he simply doesn’t understand the nature of the Anglo/French relationship, which is based on mutual distrust. Read more of this post
December 18, 2011
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I haven’t time to post again over the Christmas Season, but if you do occasionally look in then: Read more of this post
December 8, 2011
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Owl was telling Kanga an Interesting Anecdote full of long words like Encyclopædia and Rhododendron to which Kanga wasn't listening.
Unlike Owl I always have a problem spelling Tuesday - my shortcomings here saved by a spellchecker, google, and an intuitive notion that something doesn’t look right. When extraordinarily large valuations are put on artifacts, it simply doesn’t look right, especially when the artifact being purchased appears to be trivial, like a comic book. But this of course misses the point, which is that the investment in artifacts can be a means of hoarding wealth. This also means that large exchanges of money for artifacts has to take place. However: regardless of the price that an artifact may sell for, in a world where the medium of currency exchange is fiat money, any sum of money becomes irrelevant. With fiat money, there is no need for money to exist in a form that requires its physical exchange. The ability to buy a Renoir, Buggatti, Louis Quinz, or the first issue of the Superman comic, incurring large financial transactions, relates more to a credit rating than the actual ability to produce the money required. The first issue of the Superman comic sold recently for a record $2.16m and it’s highly unlikely that the buyer attended the sale with a suitcase full of money or even attended the sale at all, being able to make the purchase by telephone or some other electronic means. Read more of this post
December 3, 2011
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I posted the video below as I found its message quite appealing, given the censure being heaped on bankers and financiers. However, I found the solution offered to the hypothesis of ‘money as debt’ somewhat optimistic, for in whatever form money is regulated, politicians will attempt to manipulate the supply of money to service their own political agenda. I have always eschewed the conspiracy theorists, Illuminati, Bilderberg, Freemasons, et al, but perhaps what is most surprising about conspiracy theories, is their popularity. There is a wide, if somewhat sceptical, acceptance of the possibility of a conspiracy, balanced by a naïve belief that somehow protection from such conspiracies is inherent in a democracy.
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